The UK’s Citizens Advice is facing a backlash from staff after they were instructed to wear gender pronoun badges.
The national charity, which has recieved £290 million of taxpayer money in the last two years, is being heavily relied upon for debt, energy bills and mortgage advice during the cost of living crisis.
But the organization now faces a revolt over its skewed priorities, after it was revealed that it had rolled out five transgender policy documents.
The Telegraph reports: Dame Clare Moriarty, its £170,000-a-year chief executive, told all staff last month that pronouns are “an important way of affirming their gender identity” and “we shouldn’t assume someone’s gender based on their appearance”.
Her internal memo on Citizens Advice’s intranet, seen by The Telegraph, added: “You can help to normalise sharing pronouns by sharing yours. We’ve created some button badges with different pronouns that can be fastened to a lanyard or your clothing.”
The charity has introduced the badges in national offices and via suppliers for regional teams, while its IT team has drawn up instructions on adding pronouns to email signatures.
Ms Moriarty directed all staff nationally to a “pronouns resource” by Citizens Advice Liverpool, which includes “Ze/Zir/Zirs” or “Ey/Em/Eirs” as gender-neutral examples.
The four-page guide says that “the pronouns used to refer to you are an extension of your name” and getting someone’s pronouns wrong is “misgendering”, meaning staff must “thank them for correcting you and let them know it won’t happen again”.
“If you realise you’ve misgendered someone, but haven’t been corrected, you should still correct yourself – they may not have felt comfortable correcting you themselves,” the Citizens Advice guide continues.
Staff are directed to contentious charities including Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence if they are worried about slipping up, and given extensive guidance on transitioning at work.